Questions tagged [theravada]

The oldest of the two big branches in Buddhism. Theravada tries to follow the original teachings of Gautama Buddha as closely as possible

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Can a lay person become an Arahant according to the Suttas?

I have already seen different answers to that question, but I don't know which one is based on the suttas. I would appreciate the source of the answer for this specific topic. If you think the ...
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Are there any cultural or religious guidelines for Buddhist tattoos?

I've notice people on Instagram are getting tattoos of Mahakala and other Buddhist deities. Are there any cultural or religious guidelines to consider when getting a tattoo of a Dharmapala or any ...
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Mahasi Sayadaw Walking

In the tradition of Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw, it is taught that walking and sitting meditation should be practiced balanced with one another. I am wondering where it can be found that the Buddha taught ...
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Did the Buddha say anything about attachment to meditation?

I was unable to meditate today and this left me feeling frustrated, disappointed and anxious about my practice. This type of emotional reaction seems equivalent to what occurs when one is prevented ...
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What is the meaning of Anicca and Anatta?

Most of the English translation I read, Anatta is translated as not-self and Anicca as impermanence. However many Sri Lankan Buddhist monks do not agree with this translation. They say it is a miss ...
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Why do monastics in certain Buddhist traditions take new names?

In the Theravada tradition, and perhaps others, monastics take a new name when becoming bhikkhus/bhikkhunis. Where does this tradition come from, and what is its significance? Others don't - what's ...
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Are there any references in the Pali canon to the experience of death?

Are there any references in the Pali canon to the experience of death and what one can expect? I looked for a similar question and couldn't find one, so apologies if this is redundant.
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What was the 1st Buddhist Council about?

I'm interested in the 1st Buddhist Council, i.e. why was it held, where was it held, who attended it and what were the outcome? I'm not looking for an in-depth and detailed answer. More like an ...
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Were robes a factor in the spread of Buddhism?

If you look at the countries where Theravada Buddhism has historically taken hold (Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar/Burma) they are all in fairly close proximity to each other in the ...
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First life in samsara

In Buddhism, we believe in rebirth and karma. But was there a time when it was our first time in any of the 31 Planes of Existence? If that is the case, how would we be reborn anywhere since we did ...
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To what extent is Theravāda followed in Japan?

Extract from Ven. Nyanatiloka's Bio says In 1920, after being denied re-entry into British ruled Sri Lanka, Nyanatiloka taught at Japanese universities for five years, including at Taisho ...
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What are any and all of the exceptions to eating after noon if you've taken 8 precepts?

Is broth and vegetable juice allowable? I am preferably looking for an answer by an experienced monk.
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What practices are included in (daily lay) life for a Buddhist? [closed]

There are a number of Buddhist traditions, each with different teachings and practices. What are the daily practices lay people normally live by? For instance, living by five or eight precepts, in ...
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What can go wrong in Mindfulness Therapy as used in Clinics?

I just stumbled across the article Mindfulness therapy comes at a high price for some, say experts. Even when mindfulness is practiced correctly, side effects may occur, like feeling lost or ...
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Does Theravada believe in feeding food to hungry ghosts?

Certain Buddhist schools perform rituals to offer food to hungry ghosts. And I've heard and read stories that psychic mediums at the rituals saw hungry ghosts came eating the food. Some also reported ...
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Depersonalization phenomenon as described in the Pali Canon

According to the gentleman in this video ... Enlightenment, DP/DR & Falling Into the Pit of the Void ~ Shinzen Young Shinzen talks about the empowering facets of enlightenment and compares ...
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Near death experience and meditation

I have been trying to analyse NDE stories from a meditator's point of view. The way people change after a NDE is, in some cases, similar to the changes a person goes through after meditating for a ...
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How to accept and surrender to the mind's non-acceptance of doubt and ill-will?

I have a question that I would like some input on. Lately, I have been able to see the fruit that total acceptance and surrender can bring to one's experience. I have tasted moments of pure joy, ...
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Attainment of enlightenment without desire

The Noble Truths make us aware that the cause of suffering is desire. Isn't it a desire to become enlightened and attain Nirvana; thus, causes suffering? If you drop the desire, will it be possible to ...
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Is there a Vipassana meditation in the Mahayana tradition?

I was brought up in the Theravada tradition and have little knowledge on Mahayana. Recently some of my friends participated in a Mahayana retreat and praised it highly. One of them even claimed that ...
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What should you do when someone teaches false Dharma?

I was part of a religious group that claimed to be everything that the Buddha teaches. But, when you listen to their teachings, you can tell discrepancies between their teachings and Buddhist ...
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Celibacy - why not?

In Buddhist forums where I had asked this question, there are always "advanced" practitioners who say that there is no benefit for a lay person to be celibate. So every time i read that, I stop trying ...
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“The Blessed One”, is it bad translation?

I found "The Blessed One" in English translation of Suttas. Because in Buddhism blessing is not legit/proper word to use to anyone, especially Buddha need not to be blessed, is it loosely translated ...
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Ajahn Brahm stated that he ate snakes and frogs during his training, does this mean that it is acceptable to kill animals?

It is famous solution to eat meat only if it is offered by somebody and when the animal was not killed specifically for the person receiving it. Amongst the many videos of Ajahn Brahm on his youtube ...
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What are the resources a Buddhist can use during very hard times?

I will try to fit that in a question so it will make sense in this forum: What are the resources a Buddhist can use during very hard times? Currently I'm working 12h a day under a lot of pressure, ...
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Does Paritta/Sutta really have magical power?

Many people believed certain Paritta/Sutta have certain magical power, for example Bojjhanga Sutta for curing illness and Om Mani Padme Hum having a great (even greatest) magical power among other ...
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How to manage insects in the house while adhering to the First Precept?

I have a precept tracker app that is used daily to see how well I am measuring up to keeping the precepts. One question that sometimes appears has to do with insecticide and essentially asks if it was ...
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Is radiating loving kindness increase attachment?

In the early stage, it's said that radiating loving kindness to opposite sex can potentially arouse lust. While I'm not sure if the person who we radiate loving kindness to can have their lust aroused,...
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Is suspending judgement a way to avoid wrong view?

I came to this question from a comment made on an answer to a question about belief in rebirth. The comment read: "A view that rebirth does not exist is a wrong view. You cannot realize Nibbana with ...
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Details on what may be given as alms

Am very new to the Theravada Buddhist practices and would like to know specific items that could be given as alms. My understanding is that a monk cannot cook for himself from items given and further ...
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What is the definition of 'fool' in Theravada Buddhist text?

The Lakkhana Sutta says, Endowed with three things, monks, a fool can be known as a fool. What three? By bodily misconduct, by verbal misconduct, by mental misconduct. Endowed with these three ...
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Why does Mara, the Evil One one comes looking for consciousness at death?

Is this explained in the Pali Canon? Then the Blessed One went with a large number of monks to the Black Rock on the slope of Isigili. From afar he saw Ven. Vakkali lying dead on a couch. Now at ...
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How to Study the Suttas?

I practice the Theravada tradition. There are a lot of suttas, and I don't know how to go about studying them. Can I please get some pointers or guidelines on how I can study them? For example, which ...
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What is the difference between a Bodhisatta and a Bodhisattva?

Lots of Buddhist words have two different spellings (kamma/karma) because one is the Pali version and the other is the Sanskrit version; but the meaning is the same. My understanding of Bodhisatta and ...
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What are the main differences between the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana branches of Buddhism? [closed]

The question basically says it all, but I'll try to elaborate a bit: Are there differences in terms of the concepts used in each of these branches? Are there differences in the practices of each of ...
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Is it helpful, how is it possible, to deal with anger by 'accepting' it with equanimity?

I'm new to Buddhism and I had just started to put some of the teachings into practice. But I'm having great difficulty dealing with my anger. I have always been rather intense in my emotions. I get ...
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Do enlighted people cry? Did the Buddha ever cry?

What is the Buddhist view on crying? I don't remember hearing or reading about the Buddha ever crying. Is crying a consequence of "lack of understanding" of the ultimate reality?
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Is vipassana practice the same as insight practice?

Is vipassana practice the same as insight practice? Are the terms completely interchangeable? I know there is the vipassana movement but this appears to be Theravadin so it makes me think that ...
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Theravada and Mahayana - The Crucial Differences

I struggle with the idea that Buddhism has two warring schools and wonder why they cannot make peace. What are the issues on which Theravada and Mahayana cannot agree? Just bullet points would be ...
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In what way(s) does engaging in sexual activity affect meditation practice?

Does sexual activity (masturbation and beyond) hinder vipassana meditation practice? If so, does anyone know through experience or references exactly how this activity affects the practice? For ...
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What is useless/meaningless speech?

An elaborated answer on meaningless speech as in ten unwholesome acts is expected
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Are good deeds superficial?

It's said that our actions are originated from unconscious mind. People are trying to become more patient, more tolerable, etc. but there are anger type of people, lustful type of people, etc.. Once ...
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Without an enduring quid between lifes, how to explain past life recalling?

How a being (be it a Buddha) can remember its past lives, if there is no "quid"/soul/self enduring for more time?
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Do Theravada monks search for reincarnation of teachers?

I know this is very common among Mahayanas, specialy in Tibet where they search for their old teachers (Lamas) all call them Rinpoche. Is this also a practice in Theravada Buddhism?
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Is shellfish aquaculture considered a wrong livelihood?

I am currently employed on an aquaculture farm that specializes in clams and oysters. According to our modern system of taxonomy, both of these organisms are considered animals. I also know that a ...
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Theravada using mostly Vinaya and 4 Nikayas

There is a Buddhist monk from Theravada tradition that only follows Vinaya and the 4 Nikayas, he avoids talking about Abidhamma or other sources like Jakata Tales, he said some later stories ...
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Is chanting mantras a common practice in Theravada Buddhism?

In Mahayana Buddhism chanting mantras is one of the core practices and each mantra is associated with a certain Buddha form (yidam). Since in Theravada Buddhism there is no meditations on yidams (or ...
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If someone was an Once-returner in last life how can he know that ?

There are 4 stages in the path to nirvana. one of them is called "Once-returner" and they will be born only once as a human. So my question is , If Someone was an once-returner in last life , how can ...
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Advice on leading sitting group

I've been practicing for about a half dozen years now, have been fortunate to go on several retreats and have a consistent practice. Where I'm currently living I really don't have access to a sitting ...
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The purpose of associating with the wise

The Buddha states that he sees no other thing that is so much responsible for the arising of unwholesome qualities in a person as bad friendship, nothing so helpful for the arising of wholesome ...